311_Shahar Peer closeup.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Shahar Pe’er will travel to the prestigious WTA Championship in Doha next week
as an alternate, receiving the official invitation on Wednesday after Serena
Williams announced that she will not play again this year.
23-year-old Israeli currently holds a career-high ranking of No. 13 in the
world, while also placing 13th in the race to make the WTA
Only the top eight players of the year and two alternates
are supposed to participate in the $4,550,000 season-ending event, but with both
Williams sisters and Justine Henin declaring they are out for the season, Pe’er
was given the call-up to Qatar as one of the two stand-ins.
happy to be going to Doha,” said Pe’er, who will only play if two more players
pull out, but will receive $50,000 regardless.
“This is a great honor for
me and the result of an excellent and healthy year.”
In a statement
e-mailed to the AP by her agent, the younger Williams said Tuesday she “re-tore
the tendon” in her right foot, which she originally injured by cutting it on
glass at a restaurant shortly after winning Wimbledon in July. Williams had
surgery in New York on Monday; she first had the foot repaired July
Her announcement comes less than two weeks after Venus Williams said
she won’t play for the rest of the year because of a lingering injury to her
left knee. Both sisters will miss the WTA Championships and the Fed Cup final
between the United States and Italy next month at San Diego.
Williams is one of the great champions of all time, and she will be missed by
her many fans at the year end WTA Championships,” WTA CEO Stacey Allaster said.
“We wish her a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her back at full
strength for the 2011 season.”
Serena hasn’t played on tour since July 3,
when she overwhelmed Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6- 2 to win her fourth Wimbledon
championship and 13th Grand Slam singles title overall, most among active
The American cut her right foot on glass at a restaurant while she
was in Munich after her victory at the All England Club, but she went ahead and
played in an exhibition match July 8 in Brussels against Kim Clijsters that drew
a tennis-record crowd of more than 35,000. A week later, Serena had an operation
on the foot in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the International Tennis
Federation announced on Wednesday that the Europe/Africa Zone Group I will be
played in Eilat next February.
Besides Israel, 15 other teams will be
coming to the south of Israel between February 2-6 to fight for a place in the
World Group II playoffs, including Caroline Wozniacki’s Denmark and Victoria